Leeds United v Watford: YEP Jury give their big-match predictions

Despite their slow start to the season, our panel of fans believe Leeds United are strong favourites to see off Watford tomorrow and pick up their first win of the season.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 6:00 am
Our panel of Leeds United fans will be looking for a more disciplined performance from Junior Firpo, above, when Watford visit Elland Road tomorrow. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

DAVID WATKINS

There’s no such thing as a must-win game this early on in the season and yet this feels like one!

We played well last week for an hour and were unlucky not to get a point so, against a lesser team than the Hammers, we have to show that same form and do it for 90 minutes. To fail again would be to leave us wondering where exactly our first win will ever come from.

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Striker Ismaila Sarr will be a key man for Watford tomorrow. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Whatever team we put out, whether it be the side we saw last Saturday which looked so well-balanced despite the inclusion of the inexperienced duo Jamie Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell, or whether we see any of the injured lads return, we ought to be strong enough.

Watford are without a clean sheet in 16 Premier League games but already have two wins on the board, one against bottom side Norwich and an eye-catching 3-2 home win against Aston Villa that shows they can, on their day, be dangerous.

The Hornets can certainly sting, but I think this could be a big win for the Peacocks.

Prediction: Leeds United 4 Watford 0.

Jamie Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell pictured ahead of the West Ham game. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

JACOB STARR

This early into the season, I didn’t expect there to be a game of this magnitude, particularly for the wrong reasons.

Before the season started, newly-promoted Watford were tipped by most to go straight back down, although they have more than doubled Leeds’ points tally from the opening six matches.

I fear that if the result was to, yet again, not go our way, then the Whites could really enter a downward spiral with the lack of points on the board and momentum of last year disappearing.

Leeds United fans get behind their side against West Ham. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

So in that respect, it could well be a must-win, despite us still having 31 games to play after this weekend’s contest.

However, the first-half performance against West Ham has given me enough encouragement to suggest that we will earn our first victory of the season sooner rather than later.

Even with the current injury situation, I think there is still enough quality and confidence in that starting XI for Marcelo Bielsa to overcome Xisco Munoz.

Ismaila Sarr is the one to watch on the Hornets’ side though, already netting four times this campaign, one more than Raphinha.

Watford manager Xisco Munoz. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Watford 0.

ANDY RHODES

Of all the games Leeds United have this season, they will have earmarked this one for three points.

As one of the newly-promoted clubs, the Hornets are automatically labelled in the weaker category.

But, this season, they’re one of two promoted clubs to start brightly so may fancy their chances at Elland Road after two wins in six games.

Leeds, meanwhile, need to get their first and once that initial win is on the board, their season may be kick-started.

Raphinha has been carrying United at times this season, while last weekend’s result would have been far worse if not for Illan Meslier’s contribution.

Leeds will have to be wary of the threat carried by Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis. Both the Watford forwards boast the pace that could threaten the Whites on the break.

It’s almost like Leeds have been worked out by the teams they played last season.

Maybe a game against a new face will get their season up and running?

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Watford 1.

KEITH INGHAM

Maybe Leeds can make it ‘lucky seven’ when they welcome Watford to Elland Road.

Lady Luck has not shone on the lads in white so far this season so it is hoped that fortunes can turn in their favour this weekend, but sometimes you have to make your own good fortune by pure hard graft and this team cannot be found wanting in that area. Chances created must now be put in the onion bag!

The Hornets have two wins so far this season, a 3-1 win at Norwich City and beat Aston Villa 3-2 in their opening game of the season. Last week they drew 1-1 with Newcastle United. Striker Sarr looks very dangerous and they are in 12th position with seven points.

Leeds will be favourites to end their winless start to the season but will have to treat their opponents with respect. I remember a game back in the day when Watford had a good side with John Barnes and Luther Blissett in their team, I think it was the season they made the FA Cup final. They ripped Leeds apart, I think it was 4-0. Let’s hope for a more positive result this time around.

For the fans in attendance I ask them to be patient, back every player in white and sing your hearts out.

I’m sure if they do at 5pm we will have finally a W in our column.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Watford 0.

MIKE GILL

Hopefully we have a winnable fixture at Elland Road tomorrow as Xisco Munoz brings his Watford side to LS11.

Munoz is the latest man through the revolving doors of Vicarage Road, having joined the Hornets in December 2020.

To his credit, he got them promoted after such a short spell in the chair. Their debut in the Premier League hasn’t been too shabby either.

They currently sit at 12th with seven points but are the sort of side that Leeds should be beating. Now that the dust has settled after the West Ham game, most people agree that Leeds played well and deserved at least a point given their depleted ranks.

However, Struijk and Llorente will be back this week and Raphinha is fit to play.

A strong attacking performance will be needed as Rodrigo continues to improve but finds what an energy sapping job it is to be a lone striker in a Bielsa team. A bit of luck, a fair wind and a more disciplined performance from Junior Firpo should give Leeds their first win of the campaign.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Watford 1.

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